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FR8 Cities of Mystery (2e) €4,65
Average Rating:4.9 / 5
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FR8 Cities of Mystery (2e)
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FR8 Cities of Mystery (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/07/2024 14:48:59

Originally posted here: https://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2024/03/reviews-cities-of-forgotten-realms.html

FR8 Cities of Mystery

by Jean Rabe. Art Larry Elmore (cover), Dennis Kauth (buildings), Christopher T. Miller (interior art). Editing Kim Mohan. Product Manager Bruce Heard.

  1. Boxed Set and PDF. 64 page book, 2 large 25mm compatible maps, 4 6-page card stock buildings.

This is a fascinating product, and there is a lot going on here. I am reviewing my boxed set for this. There is a PDF and a softcover Print on Demand from DriveThruRPG as well.

What do I love about it? Well, for starters, that Larry Elmore cover is one of my favorite covers of all time. Really. I love how if looks and while the old adage is true, this cover made want to buy this product. When my old DM and I talked about our "Urban Survival Guide," this was the cover we thought about.

Also it came out in the liminal time between 1st Ed and 2nd Ed with a note on the cover that is was compatible with both. That is not entirely true. It is broad enough to be compatible with ANY fantasy RPG that has a city. There are almost no game stats here save for the adventures at the end.

In truth this product should have been called "City System" since that is what it is. This not about Waterdeep except in the most broad of terms.

The first part is a 64-page book that covers all sorts of details on building your city. This includes details like where it is (and how that changes the city), how big is it, taxes, defences, the government. Everything that was laid out for you in the Waterdeep and the North and City System sets are now up to you to figure out.

There is also a section how make Characters work in a city based adventure. Honestly that would have been the gold right there.

The rules are put to use in Sauter, City by the Sea, and there are five mini-adventures to help the DM and Players along. Honestly I want to run the Maltese Roc based on the name alone.

If that were all then yes, this would be a fine product. Not great, but added to the Waterdeep and the North and City System books it would make a great trilogy of playing in the city (sounds like a Stevie Wonder album). But that is not all there is.

There are two large double-sided maps for 25mm scale minis and four packages of 6-page cardstock building to build.

This is from 1989. D&D would not get this mini-focused for another 11 years. And it all still works with any edition you care to play with it. I read that this was going to be the first of some similar products to expand the cities even further. But honestly I am not surprised that there were not more. This looks like an expensive thing to make.

For the PDFs you would need to print out the maps and buildings to build them. I would glue them to some cardstock or print them on cardstock if your printer can do that. The advantage of the PDF and this system? As long as you can print, you can have as many of these buildings as you need.

Looking at All Three City Sets

FR1 Waterdeep and the North, City System, and FR8 Cities of Mystery are all great for that late 80s feel of the Forgotten Realms AD&D.

While each product is good individually and does what it sets out to do, one of the others points out its minimal shortcomings. Combined, they work fantastically together. So well, it makes me wonder whether I even need to leave the city!

Regardless of what city in the Realms becomes my home base (I am still partial to Baldur's Gate, but Waterdeep might win me over) I have the tools and the means to expand on it all.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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FR8 Cities of Mystery (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by David C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/18/2007 00:00:00

Looks good although I haven't used it just yet. One comment is that there is no instructions on how to put the buildings together. In the printed book I understand they are on the reverse of the buildings pages which is obviously not possible with a download. <br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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